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In a statement, Zabihullah Mujahid – the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban organization) – has condemned recent U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan carried out in support of the Afghan security forces. Although U.S. troops have left Afghanistan, the strikes were carried out from American bases outside the country.
In recent years, the Taliban jihadi organization has been conducting an all-out war to seize power in Kabul and – emboldened by the withdrawal of American troops – did not even bother to hold a symbolic ceasefire, like it did last year, on Eid Al-Adha, the annual three-day feast of sacrifice that in 2021 fell on July 20-23.
The Taliban spokesman warned the administration of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that in the coming months, only his government would be responsible for the continuing clashes between the Taliban jihadi fighters and Afghan security forces.
Following is the text of the statement:
"American occupation forces carried out airstrikes in Kandahar and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan on Thursday night [of July 22, 2021], which has caused casualties to civilians and some mujahideen. The Islamic Emirate condemns these barbaric attacks in the strongest terms. It is a clear violation of signed agreement that will have consequences.
"On the other hand, the head of the Kabul administration Ashraf Ghani made an announcement in his [meeting with] commando corps that he has planned major operations in the next six months. The Islamic Emirate also warns that in the next six-month period, the responsibility for all military developments will fall on the leaders of Kabul administration.
"The mujahideen of Islamic Emirate will strongly defend their territories and will not remain in a defensive posture if the enemy insists upon war. We have reiterated that the Islamic Emirate has a principled and peaceful policy, but both our foreign and domestic enemies are taking anti-peace measures and are showing no interest in a settlement.
"The esteemed leader of the Islamic Emirate [Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada] called for peace, security, and development in his Eid al-Adha message; but in return, the declaration of war by the Kabul administration proves who spoilers of the process are and who does not seek to resolve issues through understanding. Experts, political analysts, media, and other citizens need to be aware of this and discern those responsible for all consequences."
Source: AlemarahEnglish.net (Afghanistan), July 23, 2021. The original English of the statement has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.